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  1. Voetelink, Katherine E. ASQ CSSBB
  2. Trout, Heather B. BSN, RN, PCCN
  3. Murphy, Teresa MSN, RN, NEA-BC
  4. Rogers, Mary MSN, RN, NEA-BC
  5. Harris, Janelle A. MSN, RN, CMSRN, NE-BC
  6. Ramagnano, Sebastian BSN, BS, RN


The need for continuous observation (1:1) of patients for safety precautions, including fall risk, elopement risk, confusion, and aggressive behavior, is highly variable, and it is therefore difficult to plan accurate staffing levels. The high variability in determining when 1:1 staffing for safety is indicated, and for how long, leads to resource strain and high cost to the hospital. A multidisciplinary team analyzed current processes for assigning, monitoring, and discontinuing safety 1:1 care for nonsuicidal patients using Six Sigma methodologies. The team implemented a standardized weaning process to reduce the duration of time on continuous observation and a standardized 4-hour reassessment using a behavior observation-tracking tool to validate the continued need for 1:1 coverage. The interventions resulted in reducing average monthly safety 1:1 staffing hours by 25.6% and saving an estimated $142 000 annually across 6 units. Phase 2 of the project integrated the observation-tracking tool and reassessment check-in into the hospital's electronic medical record for improved tracking and documentation.